School board to forgo bond issue on ballot

District 51 School Board members voted Monday afternoon not to place a question on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The school district asked the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder in July to hold a space on the November ballot in case District 51 decided to ask voters for permission to obtain a loan or issue bonded debt to cover cash flow shortages.

These options were presented as ways for the district to temporarily work around the borrowing restrictions written into Amendment 61, which will appear on the November ballot. The district’s requests would have only gone into effect if Amendment 61 were approved by voters.

School Board member Greg Mikolai said participating in the election seemed cost-prohibitive after the district sliced its budget this year.

“We found it financially prudent not to put anything on the ballot,” he said.

The district may have had to pay at minimum $120,000 to participate in the election, according to School Board member Diann Rice.

Rice said the board weighed the cost of the election as well as the length of the ballot before deciding not to use the space held for the district.

“It’s already a long ballot,” Rice said. “We thought (a district question) might just add more confusion about other ballot measures, especially Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101.”

Mikolai, Rice and School Board President Harry Butler voted not to place a question on the ballot.

Board members Leslie Kiesler and Cindy Enos-Martinez were absent from Monday’s meeting.

District 51 and the city of Grand Junction both asked for placeholders on the November ballot, then decided not to ask a ballot question. The Mesa County Board of Commissioners asked for a placeholder as well but will use it to ask voters if they want to ban medical marijuana centers from operating in unincorporated parts of the county.

School board members are expected to vote on resolutions next month condemning Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101.


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